Saturday, August 25, 2007

video for "White Flag"

My group, electric kompany is currently looking to raise funds to create a video for the stunning anti-war piece by Jacob TV called "White Flag"

here's an mp3 of White Flag from a live radio broadcast

We are trying to raise $500 - 1,000 to create a professional video. Because of our membership with Fractured Atlas, all donations can be tax-deductible.

We would really appreciate your help with this project. It's important that people hear, see, and share this video on youtube, current tv, and any other video sites.

Feel free to email me if you have questions. Many thanks for your help.



classical guitar lessons, music and philosophies at

Friday, August 24, 2007

change when the music changes

I stress the importance of "changing when the music changes" to my students. This concept is a basic one for my own interpretive ideas.

If the change in the score is drastic, we should change something drastically in our playing. If it is a subtle change, the difference will be subtle. The question then becomes - how do we choose to highlight these changes? This involves musical and expressive techniques - rubatos, accents, color changes, dynamics, fingering choice, etc.

Many teachers stress listening to orchestra music. Why? Composers of the world change their orchestration (sound, dynamic, mood) when the music changes it's character. They highlight the change in the music by changing the orchestration. Again, it's simple and honest. Pay attention and you'll see what I mean.

The more we can notice the way music changes in our scores, the more we can highlight those changes in our playing and be more expressive.

classical guitar lessons, music and philosophies at

Thursday, August 16, 2007

online classical guitar lesson - 2

Lesson 2- Left Hand Preparation and Accuracy- Part 1

Many people think (I myself included at one time) "If I just repeat this hard left hand section enough times, eventually I will get it."

While repetition is important for building endurance, it is the wrong way to try to obtain left-hand accuracy.

The problem in a difficult shift, chord, stretch, etc. is not necessarily what you are getting to - it’s HOW you are getting to it.

The following is an exercise for Left Hand Preparation. Once the pattern is learned, it should be played on many sets of strings - for example - strings 1 and 4, 5 and 2, 6 and 3, 6 and 2 etc... It should be repeated without pausing about 10 times - then make sure you rest your hand.







The lines represent the strings - (top to bottom = highest to lowest), the numbers represent the left-hand fingering (you play two notes together at all times).

For this exercise to be really effective, you must make sure of a few things -

1. The left hand must prepare as soon as possible for the notes it will play next. This means - as you execute one pair of notes, you'll prepare completely over the strings and frets for the next pair of notes.

2. The exercises must be completely legato. Try not to have any spaces in the sound due to the left hand lifting off of the strings early - or the right hand putting its fingers down on the strings early.

3. The left-hand fingers must be placed down at the same time - not one, and then the other.

The point of this exercise is to get the left hand to start thinking (and preparing) ahead of itself. This small statement is the key to solid left-hand accuracy.

classical guitar lessons, music and philosophies at

Monday, August 13, 2007

Online Classical Guitar Lessons - Lesson 1

I created this blog to share my knowledge of classical guitar with my students and others interested in this art. I hope you enjoy them. I'll be creating and posting video lessons soon.....

Kevin Gallagher

Lesson 1 - Hand Coordination

One of the topics that is rarely discussed in classical guitar technique is true hand coordination. Basically, this means that when one hand moves, the other must move at the same time with the same speed.

On paper this seems easy, but it is rare to find someone with absolutely flawless hand coordination in their playing. Without proper training of this technique, the player will experience non-legato playing, clicks, and "ghost" notes from the lifting of the left hand too soon. These unwanted sounds are common among students of the classical guitar.

The following are 5 exercises that I use to improve hand coordination- repeat them on many different strings in many different positions.






These are left hand fingerings. The Right Hand should do ALL of the following fingerings- im,mi,am,ma,ami,ima,pm,pi.

The key is listening- when you play the exercise at a slow tempo- do you hear clicks? Do you hear a tiny space? Do you hear the left- hand lift before you play the right- hand?

In any of these cases it means that your hands are not totally coordinated! You have to move the right-hand fingers through the string at the same time your left-hand frets the string. Do not stop the string before you play it! The movements should be very fast and together- like a fine machine.

Once you start understanding this principle better- try to incorporate it into your pieces.

This technique is essential for good sound and rhythmic vitality for any style of music.

classical guitar lessons, music and philosophies at